“The discussion about identity is not (only) about identity it really is a discussion about liberty. The thing is that there is no liberty without identity. Having an identity is the condition for achieving liberty. Only the ruling classes have the privilege to announce that they are “without identity” they define there identity as universal and deny the crushed identity of the oppressed. Those who except the revoking of identity, or the common contrasting of identity and justice, actually accept the distorted identity given to them, that “disturbed being” based on an instinctive adaptation of a pre defined identity, the place the ruling elites prepared for him.

But identity is not static; it’s all the time an act of choice: a choice from the foundations of the past in order to point them to the future. But the discussion about identity is not a choice, it part of the structure of the human existence. More so, the choice depends on accepting an engagement with the past, to tradition. Only through responsibility and obligation to the past you will find choice. The discourse of identity is not withdrawal, but the path for an inclusive struggle, that will mark “the horizon of us all”. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin explaining Dudi Machlev1

Self-determination is defined as a free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion, and especially the freedom of the people of a given territory to determine their own political status or independence from their current state. Self-definition is the evaluation by oneself of one’s worth as an individual in distinction from one’s interpersonal or social roles.2 Most people believe this and a United Nations charter confirming this was accepted by almost all countries. However, the right to change your mind, or not even decide, collectively or individually is as important. The freedom of start one’s life again in some aspect should be a basic human right.

The Transnational Republic is a group of artists that are working to construct the first Republic where citizens are defined by the similarity of their beliefs and feelings. The new republic will represent its citizens on a civil level, for the first time not succumbing to national interests but concentrating on global concerns. In their manifesto they relate to the freedom of representation that is completely linked to the freedom of choice of self.

“Freedom of thought
Freedom of speech
Freedom to choose one’s representation

The first two points are already encoded as fundamental human rights. All of us, however, are still being denied the right to choose one’s representation. At the moment of our birth we hand over our right of representation to a nation and have no possibility – except maybe through emigration or marriage – to change our nationality. Moreover, this selection through birth might be a happy one, but equally it might not. Someone unlucky enough to be born into a dictatorship will have to more or less live with it. What makes this more problematic is that the nations not only have the “birth right” to represent the citizens, but can even choose whom they want to represent. The respect a nation has for its citizens is thus subject to the arbitrariness and the historical and cultural development of the respective national system. The situation is further aggravated as nations, sadly, have few incentives to represent their citizens optimally, as there is little fear of losing citizens due to sub-optimal actions.
Nations lose their citizens only in situations of crisis or war – as in the case of the former GDR or Argentina. A dramatically different situation presents itself in the representation of trans-national corporations: these can leave any nation, any time, and immigrate to another nation.
Transnational corporations don’t even have to change their letterhead! It’s enough to relocate the accounting of the corporation’s profits.”3


1 Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Words following “Thought on Identity” by Dudi Machlev. Haoketz.org, 4.9.06
2 Merriam-Webster online dictionary
3 www.transnationalrepublic.org

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No liberty without identity


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